For local businesses looking to increase their online visibility, combining search engine optimization (SEO) with social media marketing can create a powerful mix that will help grow your business in the long run. Most businesses realize that SEO is a necessary tool to gain visibility of a company because the companies that rank well at the search engines have a competitive advantage to those that don’t. And, Social media is one of the best ways to increase online visibility and get the word out about a product, service, or company when used correctly. Although social media is newer, its volatile growth shows that it yields with opportunity for those businesses willing to clinch its chaotic nature.
Consumers undoubtedly trust people and brands that they “know” and by reaching out to them in a space they use daily to find information, interact with family, friends, even to get the news, will only benefit your company.
Today’s fast paced world is becoming increasingly more and more internet savvy and customers expect you to be where they interact. If you organize your search and social media campaigns you’ll get more ROI out of both of them. How?
Many local businesses place hard effort to find ways to promote themselves, get links, rank in search engines, and eventually gain traffic. First and most importantly any business should understand what their consumers want from local search and how their business is showcased through social media.
Many researches show that consumers want the basics such as information on proximity, services offered, hours of operation, rating and reviews and mainly contact information. In other words, they are looking that the business is nearby, open and easy to do business with. Fortunately, Google, Bing, and Yahoo offer Local business listings to help promote your business to local Internet users. And best of all, most are free!
Getting visibility in local Search Engine may be a bit easier than obtaining in National or Global listings because of fairly less competition. However, in most cases the tasks required to achieve Local Search Visibility and social media visibility are similar to traditional SEO regardless of the geographic market your business is targeting to connect with.
The essentials of Search Engine Optimization are highly important to perform well in Local Search and Social Media.
Add your business listings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing local business listing: If you have ever used Google to find a local business, then you may have noticed a map and Local Business listings closer to the top of the search engine page. This is called “Local Business Results”. Yahoo and Bing also show related business listings in their search results. Adding your business to these listings will allow you to increase your business visibility by displaying your address, phone number, products, services, hours of operation and more.
Before adding your business to these listings, identify the keywords used by searchers to find products and services. After all, these are the terms and phrases used in Search Engine queries and if the content, local or global does not target these terms then the Search Engines will be unable to determine if the business you are trying to promote is actually relevant to a user’s search query. Also, make sure to include city and state in your Title and description META tag because this will help increase your local search results.
Submit to Local Directories: It’s important to list your business in local business directories as it can strengthen search results while helping businesses locate qualified prospects and attain better understanding of customer needs. Millions of users use these business directories to find local businesses and merchants with the intent of making spending decisions.
Did you know there are a quite a good number of local search directories out there? Business directories like Yellowpages.com, Google Places, and Yelp.com are frequently seen on the first page in Google when you search for a business or service. These websites have a widespread database of local businesses and they often allow users to post reviews and comments about those businesses. Therefore, for you as a business owner, it’s important to get listed in those directories.
Build Quality Inbound Links: Ultimately, your long-term goal is to build a large number of high-quality inbound links. If you have more links, it will be very easy to get a High Page Ranking. When other high-quality sites provide a link to a page within your site, the search engines see this as a sign of confidence. The secret of this strategy is to consistently and continually work to build quality links.
Google notes on their site that: “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
The more high-quality incoming links to your site, the more “Authority” your site has in the eyes of the search engines and the better you will rank – both locally and globally.
Be Active On Social Media: Speaking of visibility, one of the best ways to gain visibility is to be social. Social media is nevertheless one of the most important ways that opens up a huge opportunity for businesses to not only stay connected with clients and customers, but reach out to potential new ones. Most of the social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn are free and make a great tool for setting up new contacts, promoting online events, connecting with your customers and more.
So set up your business profile which includes a good description and keywords as social media not only helps in building your brand and public relations but also generates traffic to your business. More than anything, you need to remember that remaining accessible and approachable is the key to build relationships!
Comment on Blogs & Forums: It may sound simple, but yes it is quite effective! Commenting on Blogs and Forums is very important SEO technique that helps to create more backlinks and traffic and it is also a best way to showcase your expertise.
Besides the new social media rage there is nothing like traditional old fashioned discussions. For the matter, forum boards (or Q & A boards) are still one of the most popular places to meet and discuss on the internet. Spend time to explore some popular blogs or forums in your industry, and join them. Posting helpful answers or opinions to certain questions or posts can bring steady, quality traffic to your company or homepage.
Today’s successful businesses use search engine optimization and social media to increase their online visibility and attract qualified visitors to their site, which in turn increases their conversion rate and grows their business.
If your business mainly depends on a local market then now it is the time to challenge your competitors and take control of your geographic niche. Are you geared up?Tags: Google local search,local business listing,Local search,local search marketing,local search optimization,local search visibility,online visibility,Social search,Social search optimization,Social search visibility